WANA/QUETTA: At least 20 people died in flash floods in South Waziristan and Balochistan on Saturday.
Fourteen people, including eight children, were killed when a passenger bus was swept away by flash floods near the Toi Khullah area of South Waziristan.
Authorities said the passengers were travelling from Wana to Zarmilan to attend a wedding.
Members of the district administration reached the scene and started a rescue operation.
“Some of the bodies have been pulled out of the water while a search operation is under way to find the missing children,” said South Waziristan Deputy Commissioner Noman Afzal Afridi..
However, sources claimed that because of the lack of facilities in the area, the rescue and search operation was slow and the locals were looking for the missing children on their own.
Separately, a child died when a makeshift house belonging to a family of the Dotani tribe was swept away by strong currents near Wana.
Fata Disaster Management Authority officials said the fatalities occurred because of a flash flood in the Ucha Khwara stream in Wana following heavy rains.
Four members of a family were killed in a flash flood in the Khanozai area of Balochistan’s Pishin district.
Abdul Manan, 65, and his three minor grandsons were travelling in a car when they were swept away by a flash flood triggered by heavy rains in the area.The Levies force and residents found their bodies.
Another man was killed in a flash flood in the Pir Ghaib area of Balochistan’s Bolan district. Police said nine picnickers were swept away by floodwater. One of them, Muhammad Naeem, drowned while the rest were rescued. His body was found after a 20-hour search.
Hindu pilgrims stranded
Over 150 Hindu pilgrims are stranded in the Kachhi area of Bolan district following flash floods in the area.
Hindus from Nasirabad and Jaffarabad in Balochistan and Jacobabad in Sindh travelled to the Harisar Devta temple for Vesaki. On April 11, communication was cut off after flash floods lashed the province.
Balochistan government representative MPA Danesh Kumar said the pilgrims were safe in the mountains. However, the floods had swept away five or six of their camels and their rations.
The provincial government is waiting for rain to stop in the area so that it could send helicopters to rescue them, he added.
The pilgrims are stranded in the mountainous area between Jhal Magsi and Bolan. The chief minister has directed the deputy commissioners of Jhal Magsi and Kachhi to prepare their rescue teams. He has also instructed the home department to seek the assistance of the army and use its helicopters to rescue the pilgrims.